The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and Haryana government on alleged assault by police on media persons during an operation to arrest ‘godman’ Rampal in Hisar and sought their response on a plea of some journalists seeking judicial probe into the incident.
Agreeing to hear a PIL filed by a group of journalists including those who were assaulted by the police, a bench headed by Justice T S Thakur sought response from the governments.
The plea filed by a group of media persons, including Vikas Chandra, Prabhakar Mishra and Shree Niwas, sought punishment for “erring police officials” for resorting to baton charge “without caution and care”.
They alleged that there was an increasing tendency to “muzzle the press” by government authorities and sought “appropriate compensation” for affected journalists and framing of guidelines to ensure “free and fair functioning of the media”.
Besides the incident at Hisar, it also referred to various recent incidents in which media persons were attacked. “It is surprising that, despite proper approval from their channels and local authority the journalists were targeted by police from behind and subjected to the unprovoked attack suddenly near Satlok Ashram near Barwala town of Haryana while they were covering the violent clash between sect followers and security forces…,” it said, adding a superior police officer first allowed them to go near the site and later resorted to ‘lathi charge’.